Not long ago, Dennis Bertland inquired about an old house that might have been located on the William Rittenhouse tract that I recently wrote about (“The Rittenhouse Tavern.” Dennis’ inquiry can be found in the comments section.) It is located in a blank space on the Hammond Map between the Wickecheoke Creek and Shoppons Run. Who did that space belong to?
This is a continuation of my history of the ownership of the Rittenhouse Tavern. The previous article covered the period of time when members of the Rittenhouse family owned the tavern. The following article looks at the subsequent history, starting with James Wolverton and Mary Ann Sergeant in 1843, George Hoppock and Jane Elizabeth Wolverton in 1868 and Lambert B. Mathews and Lizzie Nixon in 1910, and ending with Frank W. Reading and Charlotte Venable in 1922.
The marvelous house on the northeast corner of the intersection at Rosemont (at Routes 519 and 604), once known as the Rittenhouse or Crosskeys Tavern, may be in search of a new owner in the near future. It is my sincere hope, and that of the current owners, that someone will take over who fully appreciates the historic value of the property. The sale has reminded me that I have not yet published Egbert T. Bush’s article on Crosskeys Tavern.
or The Misuse of Genealogy
On May 29th, my son, Carl Zimmer, published a book titled She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions and Potential of Heredity. This is a book that all genealogists and geneticists will love. (I’m not biased at all!) And there is a special reason for New Jersey genealogists to love it.
In his chapter concerning Mendelian eugenics, Carl wrote about Henry Goddard of the Vineland Training School in south Jersey, and his study of one particular family that proved to him that feeble-mindedness and “moral degeneracy” were inherited. A member of that family was institutionalized at the school, which was established to care for “mentally-defective” children.
Several years ago (in 2007), me and my cemetery buddies (pardon the grammar) visited the mysterious and lovely Rittenhouse Cemetery overlooking the old Prallsville quarry. I have wanted to write about this place for some time, but put it off because of concern that by making it known it would be more vulnerable to vandals. It appears that my restraint did not make much difference. Bob Leith visited recently and found one of the stones with graffiti and another one with a shotgun blast to its face. So, there is not much point in secrecy anymore. But there is another reason why I am inspired to write about the cemetery now. It has to do with the oldest stone there.
I got a letter today from Joan Verity of Frenchtown who wondered about the history of the Methodist Church in Rosemont. It was built in 1860, but only lasted about 20 years.
Charles Cane purchased the building in 1948 and renovated it to serve as housing for his employees. Phil Cane still has a news article about the work that was done, and the bell that once hung in the church steeple can now be seen in the Cane Farm parking lot.
Also known as the Rosemont School, and the Raven Rock School Continue reading »